PMC TwoTwo 8

Active Monitors

Published in SOS March 2014
Bookmark and Share

Reviews : Monitors

PMC TwoTwo 8

The eagerly anticipated flagship in PMC’s new TwoTwo range is finally here. Has the wait been worthwhile?

Hugh Robjohns

I reviewed PMC’s new high-tech TwoTwo 5 and TwoTwo 6 compact monitor speakers some months ago (July 2013), but the flagship of the range has only recently been released: the TwoTwo 8, which is the largest model in the family. Bigger than any previous PMC compact monitor, the TwoTwo 8 partners a new 200mm (eight-inch) doped-paper bass driver with the same 27mm (one-inch) soft-dome tweeter used in all the other TwoTwo models. The enlarged cabinet is surprisingly light (for its size) at just 12.2kg, and measures 250 x 500 x 410 mm (WHD), making the internal volume roughly 180 percent larger than the TwoTwo 6 and nearly four times greater than that of the TwoTwo 5.

The front-baffle dimensions maintain the family profile, being almost exactly twice as wide as it is tall, although the TwoTwo 8’s depth is only 1.6 times the width, while the two smaller models are nearly twice as deep as they are wide. The larger cabinet allows a 1.9m transmission line, which confers a bass extension to 35Hz, while the maximum SPL increases to 115dB at one metre.

To Wit, TwoTwo

I won’t describe the technology and facilities in detail again here — check out my original review for the full story — but the edited highlights of the range are that these all-new designs are true active two-way monitors, employing a trio of Class-D amplifiers with on-board DSP to provide the crossovers, driver protection, room EQ and level calibration. Both digital and analogue inputs are provided, with internal signal processing performed at 96kHz, and a bespoke networking system allows multiple speakers to be interconnected to share digital audio and control signals. As you would expect, PMC’s unique ATL (advanced transmission line) cabinet design is employed, with the line venting on the front baffle. The TwoTwo designs all employ an offset tweeter, too, which allows the cabinets to be orientated in either portrait or landscape formats without compromising the stereo imaging or frequency response.

PMC have always prided themselves on achieving very smooth and consistent dispersion from their monitors, which plays a major role in their famed stereo imaging. However, the larger the bass driver, the harder it becomes to match the dispersion angles with the tweeter at the crossover point, because the directivity of a speaker narrows with increasing frequency, and especially as the wavelength becomes significant in relation to the cone diameter. Consequently, it took PMC’s boffins a little longer to optimise and perfect the design of the bass driver and to fine-tune the DSP crossover — hence the delayed launch. However, that extra effort was certainly well worth it, as the results are quite exceptional. Despite the specifications claiming only an additional 5Hz of extension over the TwoTwo 6 (35Hz instead of 40Hz), the TwoTwo 8 produces an astounding quality and extension of low end for such a modest cabinet size — there aren’t many speakers this size that can do Mickey Hart’s ‘Temple Caves’ proper justice!

Stereo imaging is expansive and stable in both dimensions, and the superb mid-rangeclarity — such a strong aspect of the smaller TwoTwo models — is nothing short of astonishing in this eight-inch version. The obviously more extended and remarkably solid bottom end will appeal to those working in bass-heavy genres (provided the room can take it, of course), and the TwoTwo 8 is noticeably more powerful too. Although intended as a mid-field monitor, the TwoTwo 8 would work quite happily as a far-field monitor, if necessary, in smaller control rooms.

Great Eight

I’m pleased to report that the TwoTwo 8 is a very worthy and welcome addition to the family, as well as an exciting flagship that bridges the gap nicely between PMC’s compact near-field and large three-way mid-field and far-field monitors. PMC’s digital technology is empowering in the TwoTwo range, delivering genuine high-end monitor quality that is quite remarkable for such small and apparently conventional two-way monitors. Highly recommended if the budget allows!


Think about monitors of the calibre of the Unity Audio Boulders, ATC SCM50s or 100s, Genelec 8260A or 1037Cs, and Barefoot MM35s.

Sub & Controller

Complementing PMC's entire TwoTwo range is a brand new subwoofer, called (unsurprisingly) the TwoTwo Sub 1, and a dedicated remote control unit. The latter is very similar to that deployed with the IB2 SA systems, providing complete configuration access and adjustment of all menu parameters in every speaker chained into the same system network. It also provides day-to-day volume adjustment and source selection.

PMC TwoTwo 8

The new subwoofer looks superficially similar to the existing TLE1, sharing the same unusually tall, thin and deep profile with twin bass drivers. However, the new model employs the same DSP-based electronics and Class-D amplifiers as other TwoTwo speakers, and is equipped with one digital and two analogue inputs, plus PMC s network connections. The same analogue and digital audio connections are provided to output filtered or unprocessed signals to the satellite speakers. The DSP parameters are configurable for level, phase, high- and low-pass filtering (frequency and slope), plus a single band of parametric EQ, and this new subwoofer is capable of significantly greater SPL than the older model. The Sub 1 and remote control were both launched at the NAMM show in America in January 2014.

PMC TwoTwo 8 £6570$7999
Astonishingly clear and neutral mid-range, with perfectly balanced low and high ends.
ATL cabinet provides consistent tonal balance regardless of listening level.
Portrait or landscape orientations and built-in isolation pads.
Extended bass with natural weight and solidity.
Analogue and digital inputs, plus networking capability.
Flexible room-EQ facilities and transparent driver protection.
This quality level doesn’t come cheap.
The delayed flagship model in PMC’s TwoTwo range is well worth the wait, delivering remarkably accomplished levels of performance, clarity and sonic precision from such an outwardly conventional design.
£6570 per pair including VAT.
PMC +44 (0)870 4441044
$7999 per pair.
Vintage King +1 888 653 1184.

SOS Readers Ads


of Second-User Gear for sale now — don't miss out!

AVI Neutron Five

2.1 Monitor System

Thumbnail for article: AVI Neutron Five

This interesting monitor system uses the natural roll-off of the satellite speakers to provide the crossover with the subwoofer.

Tannoy Reveal 601A

Studio Nearfield Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Tannoy Reveal 601A

Building to a price inevitably entails compromises. The art is in choosing the right ones...

Quested V3110

Three-way Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Quested V3110

Sometimes, a dose of old-fashioned good engineering delivers something well worth listening to...

Adam A7X

Active Two-way Studio Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Adam A7X

Their A7 nearfield monitors received many plaudits, not least in the pages of SOS, but manufacturer Adam thought there was room for improvement.


Active Nearfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: PMC TB2S AII

PMC broke new ground a decade ago with their TB2 monitors, but the competition have been catching up. Does PMCs new activated design nudge them back to the front of the pack?

Avantone Active MixCube

Secondary Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Avantone Active MixCube

Avantone have added on-board amplification to their contemporary take on the classic Horrortone secondary monitor, and the result is something quite special...

Sonodyne SM 50AK

Two-way Nearfield Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Sonodyne SM 50AK

India may be a growing force in most industries these days, but few Indian pro-audio companies have made it into Western markets. Can Sonodynes speakers change all that?

Unity Audio The Rock

Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: Unity Audio The Rock

The time-domain response of monitors is often sacrificed for level, but this sealed-cabinet design tackles that issue head-on...

Infrasonic Blow 4D

Nearfield Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: Infrasonic Blow 4D

With digital and analogue inputs, these small speakers from newcomers Infrasonic promise a lot for the money. Can they outperform their budget price tag?

Blue Sky Sat 8 & Sub 212

2.1 Monitoring System

Thumbnail for article: Blue Sky Sat 8 & Sub 212

If you demand brutal and revealing precision from your monitors, read on...

Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27

Active Three-way Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Barefoot Sound MicroMain 27

As well as a distinctive design, these huge nearfield monitors offer a frequency and time-domain performance that compares with the best.

Adam S3XV

Studio Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Adam S3XV

Adam make the leap to a three-way speaker design that seems to pay dividends in clarity and separation.

JBL LSR 2300

Monitor Speakers

Thumbnail for article: JBL LSR 2300

JBL have a reputation for clinically precise monitors, but this time theyve come up with something a little smoother...

Equator Audio Q8

Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Equator Audio Q8

Coaxially-mounted speakers may seem a bit old-school, but theres nothing wrong with the theory — and a touch of DSP can make them very modern indeed!

M-Audio Studiophile DSM1

DSP Reference Monitors

Thumbnail for article: M-Audio Studiophile DSM1

Built-in DSP extends the flexibility and usefulness of these capable speakers.

Event Opal

Studio Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Event Opal

Events new owners make some extravagant claims for these new high-end monitors, whose design is said to put quality first. Do they live up to the hype?

Samson Resolv A6 & 120A

Studio Monitors & Subwoofer

Thumbnail for article: Samson Resolv A6 & 120A

Samsons new low-cost nearfields can produce a big sound, but do they measure up for serious mixing? We find out.

Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Active Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8

Ribbon tweeters can yield a smooth sound, while still capably reproducing transient detail — and the Pro Ribbon range promises to do so for an attractive price.

Focal CMS65

Active Nearfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Focal CMS65

Focal control everything from design to manufacture in their factory in France — and this approach appears to be paying off.

Klein+Hummel O410

Active Midfield Monitors

Thumbnail for article: Klein+Hummel O410

Getting the balance right between the benefits and disadvantages of ported and non-ported speaker designs is a tricky job, and K+H do it better than most with this ported model.

WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media